Todd McLellan was asked what his plans were as he takes the reigns as the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers.
“It’s going to go up. That’s what the plan is,” said McLellan. “It’s to take it up. It’s to take the organization and begin to climb the mountain. We have to chart our path to begin with. We have to determine what we want to be and how we want to look. We have to find the players within the organization right now — not going outside but in the organization — and put them in the right spots. With all of that, there’s pain. There’s nights we’re not going to be pleased. But there’s four teams that are playing right now that just experienced it, too. They have painful nights. They just have fewer of them. And that’s what we’re trying to do. Take those painful nights and diminish them throughout the years to the point where we can be at the top of the mountain.”
McLellan has high hopes for the franchise, but did want to temper expectations for next season.
“To come in and say hey we’re winning a Stanley Cup next year, that’s not the case. There’s some auxiliary pieces — and what I mean by auxiliary is not on the ice surface — that have been added. Bob’s obviously been named to oversee everything, Peter, myself. It’s been an exciting time for all of us.”
He was quick to point out that he knows that he will ultimately be judged on whether or not the organization can get on the winning track.
“The product on the ice — the wins and losses — still drive the organization. That’s how it is in any team. And we have to make sure that that product and those players are driving it upwards.
“There will be hills and valleys but over time it has to keep going upwards.”
Todd McLellan was asked about his playoff record with the Sharks, but McLellan was quick to point out that the Oilers were looking to get better in many aspects, not just postseason.
“We’re not going to talk about playoffs here. We’re going to talk about foundation. We’re going to talk about creating an identity and building towards it. The playoff part of it exists after you accomplish those regular season things and we’ve got work to do there first of all,” McLellan began.
He added that he felt that the Sharks got a bad rap when people referred to their playoff failures, noting that often the team that eliminated them went on to win the championship.
“As far as San Jose goes, we had a lot of successes in the playoffs in my opinion. We ended up losing to some very good teams. Chicago, Los Angeles, teams that went on to win the Stanley Cup. And sometimes you get beat by a better team. It’s as simple as that.
“Maybe you’re not at the top of your game. Maybe you’re short in some areas. Whether it’s skill, strength, toughness. It’s what the playoffs are about. You play, you find out what went right, what went wrong as an organization. Then you evaluate it and try to go out and fix it the next year.
“We were close. We had really good teams. They still have a tremendous team there. They’ve got some tremendous athletes in that locker room. They’ll be a force to be reckoned with. But it was just time for the players and the coach to refresh, I guess is the best word.”
The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that there will be a press conference later today (2:00 PM).
You can watch the press conference LIVE on the Oilers Mobile App and also right here at edmontonoilers.com.
View the live feed directly in YouTube (with live chat).
Connor McDavid won the Wayne Gretzky '99' Award as MVP of the playoffs despite the Erie Otters dropping a 6-2 decision to Oshawa, losing the championship series in five games.
From the OHL's press release:
The top 2015 NHL Draft prospect led the OHL Playoffs in scoring with 21 goals, 28 assists and 49 points in 20 games, the most points in a postseason since Justin Papineau's OHL record of 51 in 1999.
McDavid, an 18 year-old centreman from Newmarket, ON, had two goals, four assists and six points in five games during the Rogers OHL Championship Series, leading the Otters deep into the playoffs for the second straight season. He had points in 18 of his 20 playoff contests.
The Otters captain recorded a total of five multi-goal games throughout the 2015 OHL Playoffs, highlighted by a five-goal performance in a 7-3 win over the London Knights on April 10.
McDavid becomes the second Otters player to win the award after Brad Boyes earned the distinction in 2002.
The OHL introduced the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award in 1999 to honour the Most Valuable Player in the OHL Playoffs as selected by the media. Gretzky, a native of Brantford, graduated from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to become the most prolific scorer in the history of the NHL. The league created the award in tribute of 'The Great One' shortly after he announced his retirement from the NHL in 1999.
Leon Draisaitl was named the WHL MVP as his Kelowna Rockets defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings 3-0, sweeping their way to the WHL Championship.
The first two periods went scoreless but 1:10 into the third, Draisaitl scored shorthanded to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead. That goal would turn out to be the game winner as 19 seconds later, Rourke Chartier scored shorthanded on the same penalty.
With 5:30 to go, Draisaitl assisted on a goal by Nick Merkley to make it 3-0 and that was how the game would end.
The Erie Otters have been pushed to the brink after falling 6-5 to the Oshawa Generals on Wednesday night. Top-ranked CSS prospect Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists for four points in a losing cause.
Oshawa stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the first period but before the period would end, the Otters came back to tie it at 2-2 with McDavid assisting on both goals.
The Generals then scored two more to open the second and take a 4-2 lead. 10 seconds after Oshawa's fourth goal, Jake Marchment scored to make it a one-goal affair. Then McDavid assisted on a goal by Taylor Raddysh to tie it up at 4-4.
Erie took a 5-4 after McDavid ripped a shot from the high slot top corner. Oshawa tied the game at 5-5 with one second left in the middle frame. Neither team scored in the third, sending the match-up to overtime.
In OT, Cole Cassels scored 8:19 in to give Oshawa the win.
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist as the Kelowna Rockets won 5-3 to take a 3-0 series lead over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Monday night in Kelowna.
With the win, the Rockets are only one win away from a WHL Championship and an appearance in the Memorial Cup. Their next two games are on home ice in Kelowna.
Draisaitl opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal (video above) 6:35 into the first period. Morgan Klimchuk responded 1:13 later for Brandon to get the game on even terms. Gage Quinney regained the lead for the Rockets only 59 seconds after that, sending the home team into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Dillon Dube's goal 4:15 into period two increased Kelowna's advantage to 3-1 and before the period would end, Rourke Chartier's 11th of the postseason made it a three-goal game. 26 seconds after Chartier's goal, Brandon responded to send the game into the final frame down a pair.
Brandon made a game of it in the third period after Tim McGauley's goal midway through made it a 4-3 contest but Chartier's second of the night and 12th of the playoffs -- assisted by Draisiatl -- was the insurance marker.
The two teams play again on Wednesday in Kelowna. Game time is 8:05 p.m. MDT and it can be seen on Shaw TV (channel 10).
Highlights | Post-Game Interviews
Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters won on home ice Monday 4-3 to narrow their gap in the series to two games to one over the Oshawa Generals.
McDavid had a goal and an assist to help lead the Otters to the win.
Erie had a 2-0 lead after two late first-period goals by Remi Elie and Alex DeBrincat. That lead carried over through a scoreless middle frame and into the third.
In the third, McDavid scored five minutes in to make it 3-0 for the home team. 1:15 later, Cole Cassels scored to bring the Generals within a pair. With 7:36 to go in the game, Nick Betz scored to give the Otters a 4-1 lead.
Late goals by Sam Harding and Cassels made it 4-3 but that was as close as Oshawa would get.
Game 4 goes Wednesday at 5:35 p.m. MDT. Game 5 will be televised on Sportsnet and is Friday at 5:35 p.m. as well.
Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist as the Kelowna Rockets won 5-3 to take a 2-0 series lead over the Brandon Wheat Kings despite having played the first two games on the road.
Brandon opened the scoring only 1:20 into the game before Draisaitl set up Rourke Chartier about 10 minutes later to tie it at 1-1. With three seconds to go in the first, Nick Merkley scored to make it 2-1.
Kelowna extended their lead to 3-1 only 27 seconds into period two. Peter Quenneville scored two goals four minutes apart early in the third to make it a 3-3 game, however.
Midway through the third, Nick Merkley scored his second of the game shorthanded to make it 4-3 and Draisaitl added an empty-netter to wrap it up.
The next three games of the series will be in Kelowna, starting with Game 3 on Monday at 8:05 p.m. MDT.
The Erie Otters have fallen behind 2-0 in their best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League Championship Series to the Oshawa Generals after losing Game 2 5-1 on Saturday night.
Top-ranked prospect Connor McDavid had no points and was a -2. It was the first time in these playoffs that McDavid came away without a point. He had a point in each of his first 16 playoff games, scoring 19 goals and 43 points in those games.